Police shouldn’t have licence to flout laws: Pakistani daily

August 19th, 2011 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 19 (IANS) The police should not have a licence to flout the very laws they are there to uphold, said a Pakistani daily.

An editorial in the News International Friday said: “An arrested suspect has every right to expect that they will be produced in court at some future date - alive. The police have a duty of care in respect of those in their custody, but reports of police brutality appear with unsettling frequency.”

Stating that deaths in custody are far from rare, it said that latest incident caused a riot in Fatehpur, Muzaffargarh in Punjab province.

Five motorcycles and a police vehicle were burned and the police had to protect themselves by firing teargas shells and by baton charge.

“The police should not have a licence to flout the very laws they are there to uphold. There is an almost total breakdown of trust in the relationship between the police and the communities they are supposed to serve,” the editorial said.

“Time and again there are credible and verifiable reports of the police abusing the trust they are given, demanding bribes, torturing suspects, falsifying or destroying evidence or refusing to follow through on a case.

“Is it any wonder that communities such as those in Fatehpur react as they did? The violence of the mob cannot be condoned, but violence begets violence and deaths in custody are a powerful trigger for reciprocal communal lawlessness.”

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